The “female athlete triad” is not a three-sport athlete or athletic event. Rather, it is a set of three disorders increasingly found among female athletes, especially teenagers. When the calorie consumption of these athletes is too low, they may develop eating disorders, amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods) and osteoporosis.
Instead of becoming healthier, female athlete triad patients are actually hurting their bodies. Physical activity is important – but so is proper nutrition. “Sports are great, especially for young girls,” says Wendi M. Carns, MD, FACOG, obstetrician/gynecologist.
“Sports provide good self-esteem and decreased rates of depression. Female athletes are less likely to try cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. But you have to balance the needs of the body with the demands of the sport in which they are participating. When you have poor intake of calories, it leads to the female athlete triad.”
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